Friday, December 31, 2021

Panoply 2021: It's a Wrap!

Once again the Christmas decor is packed away, and now it's time to collage all my blog posts for 2021 as a final step before closing the book, figuratively and literally, on 2021. Soon I'll have all my posts bound in a yearbook style format using Blog2Print (no affiliation, I just love the product and service). 

I only blogged 24 posts (counting this one!) in 2021. That's even fewer than last year. I suppose I didn't feel I would be entertaining or informative enough to sustain your interest, so 24 it was. Plus, I found myself super busy by late summer with another move!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Forest Fantasy Holiday Tablescape

Hello, and Happy Holidays! Today I am sharing my Forest Fantasy Holiday Tablescape, as part of my 2021 [new] home holiday decor. Welcome, readers, both longtime and new!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote No. 29 and Giveaway

Hello, tote traveling troupers! This past quarter has flown by for me, mostly because I was wholly immersed in moving. Yes, we've had three homes in three years. It's a Goldilocks thing.....we think we've found the "just right" home this time. Join me as I recount my travels in this 29th edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Landscape Makeover at Our New Home

Good morning, readers! What a crazy-busy past several weeks it's been while moving from our loft to our new home. I had several projects going simultaneously, a landscape overhaul one of the most significant, with an interim makeover until I can think through future plans. Below is the before photo of our home from the realtor's listing photo in early spring 2021.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021


Hello, my friends, and welcome to my blog, Panoply. Today I have another tablescape for you, for Thanksgiving, simply titled Thankful. Mine is but one of more than twenty of my blogging friends' table designs, being delivered to you just in time for the upcoming holiday. It's a feast of ideas for you! Read on for more juicy details....

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Miscellaneous Musings No. 20

Hello, my friends. Time for another musings post from yours truly. Please don't be offended by anything written here. It's just the way my little brain turns, and every now and then I need to spill through what has become a series. This is Miscellaneous Musings No. 20.

I've actually seen people write solely on the subject of decorating with branches. Well, here ya go. I even threw in a spider lift since it's so appropriate for fall and Halloween.The pin oak tree (above and below) is was on the corner of the lot of our new home, and it is was very precariously positioned over both our slate roof and the city electric wires overhead (the wires I deplore, but it's an old neighborhood). Here was the emotional state of the tree this past Tuesday:

I have plans for the corner, and hope to have them in place by next spring when the soil is amended, after the stump is gone. I also have an interim plan. More to come.....

Graphic signs are often another popular subject seen and written about as trendy. Here's one for you, in case you can't remember what this part of your house is....PORCH. (Full disclosure: upon blowing it up, it says Welcome to Our PORCH).

More Kroger math spotted in the grocery store since my last musing: 
Oh yea, I'll take Charmin for $7.00 per square foot, please. Puh-lease.

From the organization's an easy way to tote clothing short distances, you know, Beverly Hillbilly style. Just fill a yard waste bag of your hanger clothing, then wrap the ties over each side of the hangers, tighten, tie and go. Then, later, you can re-use the bags for their original purpose. Hey, worked for me in moving, and later with my little landscape I'm about to take on.
This next one is both gross and funny. I am notorious for getting rocks and tiny debris in my socks/shoes as we walk, which causes me to have to pause and take my shoe off, empty it, and go on. Recently, we went to a nephew's wedding and had to walk from our parked car to an outdoor garden venue for the celebration. Thank goodness I didn't take my shoe off there! When I got home and took my shoes off, this is what I found:
My interior lining completely deteriorated on my bare foot! These are Franco Sarto shoes, and I bet I've only worn them less than a half a dozen times. Problem is, I never wore hose with them. I had to peel that stuff off over the trash can before ditching the shoes. Notice the farmer tan line at the ankle...

Here's one from the purging most of my longtime readers know, we downsized two and a half years ago from a nearly 5,000 sq ft home/landscape garden to just under 2,200 in an urban condo. We got rid of ALL of our yard tools but one little tote I kept (and leaf blower that won't even touch that pin oak!). Well, we just moved into a 2,900 sq ft home with small landscape. Easy enough to manage....if one had the right tools. The best part? We gave our lawn mower to the guy who we are now paying to cut our grass. We did manage to negotiate rakes, hoses, and a few other things from the sellers we had previously purged, including those yard waste bags I mentioned earlier.

I'll leave you with views taken a couple blocks from our urban dwelling...
...and from just one block from our newest home...
...just crossing the river once again.

This is what I feel like after this past month of moving:
Thanks for your visit. Please send someone who'll clean for me. 

Rita C. at Panoply

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

hOWLoween Tablescape

hOWL are you doin'? I'm so glad you're here at Panoply because today I'm sharing my hOWLoween tablescape I've styled for October. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Fall Garden Harvest Creatures Tablescape

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog, Panoply! Today I'm hosting a fall tablescaping event with some very talented stylists ready to inspire you with their ideas for entertaining, as the autumn season approaches.

My fall theme for the table was inspired by salad plates I scored on eBay a few months ago, but originally sold at Pier 1 several years ago. It is Fall Harvest Garden Creatures. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote No. 28 & Giveaway

Welcome to the Tales of the Traveling Tote #28, and Happy September! Our tales began in 2015, and we are still journaling our tales each quarter. You can go here for my personal travel history with my totes - Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C and Miss Penny.

The BEST event of this past quarter was the birth of my first grandchild, a girl, born August 17. It's all still very new and exhausting, but this sweet child is such a miracle. Thank you to everyone who prayed for the baby, my daughter and son-in-law along their journey.💜

Friday, August 6, 2021

Miscellaneous Musings No. 19

Hello, readers, and welcome to my Rolodex brain dump of miscellaneous musings. These tend to be random thoughts that strike a chord with me at one time or another, usually in a funny way (except for that last one on Life in Limbo. To see my priors, they're listed here.

I went to an estate sale last week which was held on a farm. The parking attendant even found a treasure, or his twin, I'm not really sure which.

Friday, July 16, 2021

A Few Good Friends in Group Chat Tablescape

I had some fun playing with dishes recently, putting together A Few Good Friends in Group Chat tablescape. It starts with a set of Vicki Sawyer appetizer plates I bought last November and have been storing since. It's a summertime table, the theme perfectly timed as we enjoy reuniting with friends and family on the downside of the COVID pandemic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Summer Seaside Scenes Tablescape

Welcome to Panoply! Summertime entertaining is intended to be relaxed and easygoing. With thoughts of vacations or even staycations, whichever the case may be, one thing's certain - just getting together again is one of the surest signs of a return to normalcy! I've set a summer table just for the occasion, and hope you'll catch a wave of inspiration among the details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote #27 & Giveaway

Welcome to the Tales of the Traveling Tote #27, and Happy June! Our tales began in 2015, and we are still journaling our tales each quarter. You can go here for my personal travel history with my totes - Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C and Miss Penny.

Before we get started, first I want to do a little Traveling Tote throwback to waaay back in 2015, when Miss Luna C went to the park; what is now our nation's 63rd National Park! The New River Gorge National Park was made official in December 2020, but was originally established in 1978. Check out that fabulous day trip here.
WV's New River Gorge National Park

Friday, May 14, 2021

Blog Refresh, Email Subscription Update

I am one who thrives on organization. When Blogger announced it was eliminating Feedburner as its email subscription service in July, I knew I needed to do something before the rush. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Kings Corners for the Queen Bee

Welcome to my blog, Panoply. Today we are celebrating the great pollinators of the world - the BEES! What better way to celebrate than setting a table to honor the Queen Bees of the world?! If you've buzzed over from Mary's blog, you've already learned about Hive Rules in her clever way with words and vignettes.  

Friday, May 7, 2021

Panoply Vintage Finds in Covid Times

The last time I gave y'all an update to my Panoply vintage finds was in an August 2020 post. I've done a lot of shopping since then! Whenever my Panoply sisters and I shop together, we often do a show and tell once we're back at home base, so that's what I have for you today: highlights of my vintage finds in Covid times since last August. It's a long post, but lots of eye candy. Grab a drink, let's go armchair antiquing!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Two Years Later: Before and After

Most of my readers who've been with me over the years know that in 2019 we made a major downsize, going from a large home and garden to living in a loft. I have no regrets, and am very happy with a downsized lifestyle. 

A couple weeks ago while walking in our old neighborhood, we ran into the wife of the couple who bought our former home. She invited us in to see what changes they've made to both the home and garden.  I thought you might like to see a few of the major changes they've made.

The Courtyard: Before and After

Friday, March 26, 2021

Fun with Food and Flowers

I do not know where I saw it (probably Facebook, as I'm not on Instagram, and I rarely scroll Pinterest), but a recent recipe caught my attention that inspired some fun with food and flowers: egg salad filled 'carrots'. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Early Spring, Easter '21 Tablescape

The official start of spring is just days away, Daylight Savings Time has begun, and I can see and feel new life energy around me each day. Welcome to Panoply, where I am celebrating my favorite season at the table! Several other bloggers are joining me today, and you'll find links for their tables near the end of this post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote #26: Antiquing, and Giveaway

Welcome to the Tales of the Traveling Tote #26, and Happy March! Our tales began in 2015 (go here to get the story behind it all), and here we are in 2021, still journaling our tales each quarter. You can go here for my personal travel history with my totes, Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C.

Probably the most significant trips I've made in this past quarter are two outings for the COVID vaccine. That's both me and Mr. P. pictured below (and Miss Charley C), getting our second shots in the latter part of February, almost one year since the pandemic began. BREAK OUT! We are now counting the days until we can feel a little more relaxed to eat out, shop in person, and actually travel! Let's just hope these vaccines will be effective against variants.
Most of my readers know one of my favorite pre-COVID activities was antiquing and vintage shopping. My two Panoply sisters and I have rented spaces in the South Charleston Antique Mall since July, 2008 in WV. The 3-story (+mezzanine), 18,000 square foot building (pictured below) was formerly a retail department clothing store in its heyday. Now its purpose is an antique emporium!
Since my travels during the past year have involved little more than my [mostly] weekly trips to the antique mall to restock and fluff our booth spaces, I thought it might be fun to have Miss Luna C take you along for a mini tour of our antique mall. I'll share several of our dealers' spaces, and give you a look at our current spaces as they're styled for early spring. Miss Luna C was excited for this excursion, and I hope you are too!

Our starting point on first floor is the corner of one of our spaces. We'll circle back at the end of our trip to see more of our spaces.
Still on first floor, we go to the far back and find one of our favorite dealer friend's booths. She buys a lot of big furniture, as you will see in another photo. Miss Luna C sits on an English washstand in the corner.
More of the same dealer's goods, let's see what's cooking (besides Miss Luna C in the large apple butter kettle!). Crates, curios, brass beds, large stained glass windows......
Pictured below is some of the really big furniture this dealer hauls in. Look at that massive secretary and corner cabinet. My sisters and I don't sell large furniture like this, and we never did. We now limit furniture items to what may fit in an SUV.

Moving up the stairs to the mezzanine level, this cigar store Native American is on the lookout for good deals. 
Ahh, yes, just up a few more stairs to second floor, we see a dealer who sells all things Fiesta, which is manufactured in West Virginia. 
This was late February, so he had already made green the starring color, but just around the corner of this aisle display, there was still a bit of red and white for Valentine's Day. He switches his color scheme displays monthly, and stocks more colors on the racks behind these. 
Miss Luna C wants some rock and roll. This dealer stocks an excellent variety of vintage vinyl LPs.
This dealer nearby has a vintage library with a couple chairs for customers to peruse the inventory.
A West Virginia antique mall without vintage glassware would be like a candy store without candy. Blenko, Viking, Kanawha, Rainbow, Fenton - they're all in our antique mall. Check out these fun facts on this iconic WV artistry on the state's Tourism website. We have several dealers who sell vintage glass.

On the third floor of our antique mall, we have a dealer who caters to us dish lovers! Check out that Windsor Ware harvest fruit in the cabinet! There was a beautiful china set on the table too which I hurriedly walked past without taking a photo. It had a pink rim and roses.

This booth has a nice set of chairs hanging on the wall. That's a trick we often use (and are currently doing in one of our spaces!). Those barrister bookcases like the one on the floor below the chairs are consistently hot commodities at auction, estate sales and even antique malls. It won't last long here.
Coming back downstairs to first floor, we'll make one more stop, right next to my sisters' and my booth. This dealer specializes in postcards. Miss Luna C is propped up on the section of travel postcards.
I promised a few photos of our booths as they are currently styled, so the rest of the photos you will see are of mine and my sisters' rented spaces. This first space is what we refer to as our main booth. It's directly beside the dealer with the postcards.
Not pictured in the photo above, but barely visible on the right are one, double-sided rack of our vintage linens.
Directly behind the right side louvered dividers of our main booth is our mall's service elevator, and the aisle turns right. If you think of the floor layout as shaped like a U, we would be situated at the base of that U. You'll perhaps have a better idea of that as I show the additional spaces. We have a space directly beside the elevator. We refer to this section as our "mantiques". The guys (and gals, too) gravitate toward it.
Directly across the aisle from mantiques is yet another space. This space is sort of a mixture of vintage  country/farmhouse/primitive items, seen below. Through the shelf and louvered shutter divider at center, you can see the staircase that leads to the mall's upper floors.
See the backside of the lamps on the right? Here's the front of that table (picture below), which is on that aisle that turned right from the service elevator I mentioned earlier. 
Lastly, we end up where we started this mini antiquing adventure, at our space on the corner of another aisle, at the foot of the staircase. From here, you can look back all the way to our mantiques section. It's one continuum, with a left turn at mantiques taking you to our main booth. 
Behind the repurposed chifferobe pictured on the corner above, we have the space behind it also. The wall is pictured below. There's that chair I mentioned we hung on the wall. We work around space restrictions such as the HVAC system ductwork, and optimize what space we have.
I know that was a whirlwind tour, particularly of Panoply's own spaces, but I want you to now read about our giveaway and take some time to visit my tote tribe sisters! I'll try to show our antique booth spaces in more product detail in a future post. We have a lot of fun inventory, both vintage and antique.

(Update March 8, 2021: Barb at the Sewing Knit Loft was randomly chosen as our winner by Jackie Williamson. Thank you to all who left comment entries!)

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway and Jackie at Purple Chocolat Home is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Jackie's post today will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this MacKenzie-Childs Tulip Tea Kettle Dish Towel. This is a perfect accessory for welcoming spring in your kitchen! 

Be sure to check out my other traveling sisters' posts to see what they've been up to during these past few winter months.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @The Sketchy Reader

Join us again on June 1, 2021 for another edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote. I'm dreaming of a real vacation!
Thanks so much for your visit. I love reading your comments, and be sure to leave one on Jackie's blog for a chance at our token gift. Stay safe, and Happy March!